Posts Tagged ‘jesus’

In recent years the Catholic Church has been creating new sins with abandon, including “causing social injustice [except when the Catholic Church does it],” “becoming obscenely wealthy [except when the Catholic Church does it],” and “road rage [except when the Catholic Church does it].”

And if there’s one man you can count on to take a firm stand against pleasure-providing, consensual activities, it’s the Pope.

Which is why it’s not terribly surprising to find him weighing in against drug use:

In particular, the Holy Father noted Mexico’s work to eliminate “violence, drug trafficking, and inequality and poverty, which are fertile ground for delinquency.”

I can already hear you objecting that the Pope is only opposed to drug “trafficking,” not drug use, to which I will simply point out that without drug “trafficking,” there is no drug use, except maybe for drugs that you grow yourself in your closet using a hydroponic setup that you lied to the sales clerk and told was for “legitimate vegetables,” drugs that you made in a trailer in the woods from common household items you bought at supermarkets and hardware stores, and model airplane cement.

At this point you might be wondering why exactly the Pope cares about drug use. After all, the College of Cardinals has been known to smoke some wacky stuff during papal elections, and Benedict is himself supposed to have experimented in the past with Nazi crank. And you’d think that as a well-known Cypress Hill fan, he’d have more appreciation for the “bubonic chronic.”

Well, it’s possible that nostalgia-minded priests are encouraged by the parallels between the War on Drugs and the Inquisition. Also, drugs have “an obvious affiliation with the desires of Satan,” especially his desire to eat at White Castle. And probably the Church views the War on Drugs as a useful proxy for its war against Santa Muerte.

According to the internet, though, it’s primarily because Pope Benedict is the antichrist, who will necessarily support the drug war:

“If cannabis was one of the main ingredients of the ancient anointing oil _ and receiving this oil is what made Jesus the Christ and his followers Christians, then persecuting those who use cannabis could be considered anti-Christ,” Mr Bennett concludes.

End times could be near! I’ve already picked out which house I’m moving into after the rapture, but have you?


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Some god-believers (especially those named Jotham) insist that their god is “perfect.” In fact, there are entire (specious) arguments for god’s existence premised on this belief.

Other god-believers, however, allow that their god might not be perfect, and might sometimes need (for example) refueling, new tires, radiator-debris removal, windshield-washing, tire-pressure adjustments, and brake pad replacements.

The people in this second group, quite obviously, are the ones who formed the God’s Pit Crew (or maybe God Spit Crew — their URL and YouTube account can really be parsed either way).

Whenever god puts a little too much wear and tear on the world, maybe with tornadoes or floods or hurricanes, the Spit Crew swoops right and tries to clean up the mess he made:

Now, I have no beef with wanting to help people after they’ve been ravaged by a natural disaster. I myself was struck by lightning shortly after I came up with the idea for my book, again when I set up this blog, and a third time when I came up with The Greatest Religious Joke of All Time. And so I have lots of sympathy for the victims of nature (or of god, depending on whether you believe in science or not).

Nonetheless, the message that “Jesus loves you, and that’s why he destroyed your trailer park” seems a little incongruous to me. The idea that “The tree that fell through your living room is all part of god’s plan” is not particularly reassuring. Which is why if the Spit Crew showed up after my natural disaster, I’d probably crawl out from under my collapsed wall, accept their gift of a trailer full of bag ice, and start making fun of them.

Pepsi apparently has the same idea. After lots of contributions, they somehow figured out that the word “god” in the organization’s name implied a religious aspect to the Spit Crew. (Perhaps they watched the part of the video that sums up their charitable activities as “All this with the message of the love of Jesus Christ.”)

Nonetheless the Spit Crew is pushing back:

“We make absolutely no excuses for being a faith based, a religious based organization – we don’t discriminate we talk about Jesus to those in need whether they’re believers or non believers,” Johnson said.

Of course, a real God Spit Crew would have turned down donations from the homosexual-agenda-supporting Pepsi anyway.

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I was all set to make a “finally, a Catholic on the Supreme Court!” joke. And then I got a memo from the fact-checking department pointing out that we don’t really know for sure what religion Sonia Sotomayor is.

It turns out the there’s a lot of evidence both ways:

yes: “Sotomayor” sounds like a Catholic name

no: divorced

yes: attended Catholic schools

no: attended Protestant law school

yes: big fan of Nancy Drew

no: big fan of Perry Mason

yes: believes in Virgin birth of Jesus

no: skeptical about “perpetually-intact hymen” doctrine

yes: treats her law clerks like her children, possibly including baptism, confirmation, and altarboyism

no: never had children of her own, in direct violation of Catechism 2373

yes: supernatural belief that Court of Appeals is “where policy is made

no: reputation as rigorous, rational thinker


Apparently she is Catholic, but an “attends church for family celebrations and other important events” Catholic. As I am not a Catholic, I’m not sure what counts as “important events,” but I’m guessing that Easter Egg hunts are included.

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Poor Darrel Falk. Not only is he stuck being executive director of the ludicrous BioLogos project, but also his granddaughter has noticed the obvious parallels between the Easter Bunny, the Tooth Fairy, and Jesus.

This is great for us, however, as we get to read his “yes, we were lying about the tooth fairy, and also we were lying about the easter bunny, and also we were lying about santa claus, but Jesus is totally different and here’s why!” essay.

He makes the following points:

1. Some of the data underlying evolutionary biology is “historical” in nature. Some of the arguments for Christianity are also “historical” in nature. This makes belief in Christianity just as data-driven as belief in evolutionary biology!

2. “There are some theologians who I consider just as brilliant as some scientists!”

3. Not only has Jesus never been “falsified,” there are plenty of good reasons to think he exists. For instance, check out the New Testament book Romans, which (unlike The Da Vinci Code) is too packed with “sincere emotion and veneration” to be fiction.

4. If you don’t read every pro-Jesus book with “the open mindset that is supposed to be the trademark of any scientist,” you’ve committed an “unforgiveable sin.”

Now, unlike his granddaughter, I am not a 6-year-old girl, and so it’s hard to say which of his arguments she will find compelling. I’m guessing she’ll reject the first, as even little girls understand that — while studying history helps us understand evolutionary biology — there is also genetic, anatomical, geographical, biochemical, epidemiological, and current biological evidence. I’m also guessing that she’ll reject the second, as little girls tend to put more weight on the opinions of J.K. Rowling and Stephanie Meyer than the opinions of Dietrich Bonhoeffer and Karl Barth. Along similar lines, the Baby-sitters Club books are packed with “sincere emotion and veneration” yet are clearly fiction, making me suspect she’ll reject his third argument. And although his granddaughter sounds pretty smart, a number of the books he propounds still seem above her reading level, making it tough to condemn her for not reading them.

However, although he didn’t mention it in his article, he’s also got a fifth argument in his pocket:

5. If you don’t believe in Jesus, then after you die you’re going to get thrown into a Lake of Fire and tortured forever. It’s worse than anything you can imagine. Remember how bad you felt that day at school when all the other girls were making fun of you? Remember how much it hurt when you fell on the playground and broke your arm? Remember when you had the flu and you kept throwing up everything we fed you and we had to take you to the hospital where they stuck a tube in your arm so you wouldn’t get dehydrated? Remember how sad you were when your dog Pepper died? This is so much worse than all those combined, and if you don’t believe in Jesus you’ll feel it all day, every day, forever and ever.

And I’m pretty sure that this one is the kind of argument that resonates with six-year-olds.

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Here’s a promising-sounding new book: 10 Dumb Things Smart Christians Believe:

Many Christians, new and seasoned alike, tend to bank on promises that God never made, says one pastor.

So when God doesn’t come through on those “promises,” some are likely to become angry at God.

And “that to me as a pastor over all my years is always one of the saddest things,” says Larry Osborne, teaching pastor at North Coast Church in Vista, Calif.

Osborne, whose church draws over 7,000 people, is hoping to spare a lot of Jesus followers from that anger. He’s also hoping Christians will peruse Scripture more and align themselves with what God really says rather than the “word on the street.”

Wait, that doesn’t sound promising at all! Does he at least have a good list of ten?

  1. Living God’s way will bring good fortune
  2. Faith can fix anything
  3. Forgiving means forgetting
  4. A godly home guarantees godly kids
  5. God has a blueprint for my life
  6. Christians shouldn’t judge
  7. Everything happens for a reason
  8. Let your conscience be your guide
  9. A valley means a wrong turn
  10. Dead people go to a better place.

Well, a number of those are stupid things. But if I were making a list of “Ten Stupid Things Smart Christians Believe,” none of those would be on it. What’s that? You want to know what would be on it? Good question!

Ten Stupid Things Smart Christians Believe

  1. A mistranslated book written by cave people is a reliable guide to the modern world.
  2. There’s an invisible man in the sky who likes to watch you while you’re showering.
  3. Two thousand years ago, an alter ego of this invisible man knocked up a Jewess whose husband wasn’t satisfying her.
  4. The progeny of this drunken coupling was both god and the son of god.
  5. This son of god was killed (but not really, since he’s also god, and god can’t die) and then came back to life to seek revenge, just like J.D. Walker.
  6. His killing was a necessary sacrifice in order that we might be forgiven for the sins of Eve, the first woman in the world, who lived 6000 years ago in a magical garden, where a talking snake convinced her to eat a forbidden apple.
  7. To show our thanks for this sacrifice, we should put special crackers and wine in our mouths, where they will be magically transformed into his flesh and blood, which we should then swallow despite taboos regarding cannibalism.
  8. If you don’t believe all the preceding items, then after you die you will be plunged into a lake of fire and tortured for all eternity.
  9. If you do believe all the preceding items, then after you die you’ll get to go to heaven, which is a cloud in outer space connected to the earth with a dotted line bent into a heart-shape
  10. Thomas Kinkade is an awesome painter.

Which book would you rather read?

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Easter is tomorrow! Sure, if you want to be a wuss you can hunt for eggs or go to church or swing by Marie Callander’s for their special all-you-can-eat brunch.

But if you’re a real Christian, the kind who wants to use god’s supernatural powers to heal your mother of cancer, it’s nail-yourself-to-a-cross-time!

I mean, think about it, if you were Jesus, both god and the son of god, is there anything that would make you want to temporarily change the laws of science to benefit one of your worshipers more than his bloodily reenacting that time that you were tortured by your enemies?

I know that nothing brings out my generosity like vivid recreations of unpleasant episodes from my past!

Still, hand-wounds heal pretty easily (as evidenced by the dude crucifying himself for the Guinness-record 23rd time). I’d be a lot more impressed by believers who beheaded themselves and tried to fix things with transplants of elephant heads.

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The Friendly Atheist points out the repugnant case of a mother who believed in resurrection and was therefore willing to just stand by while her son was killed:

Then the soldiers, when they had crucified Jesus, took his garments, and made four parts, to every soldier a part; and also his coat: now the coat was without seam, woven from the top throughout.

They said therefore among themselves, Let us not rend it, but cast lots for it, whose it shall be: that the scripture might be fulfilled, which saith, They parted my raiment among them, and for my vesture they did cast lots. These things therefore the soldiers did.

Now there stood by the cross of Jesus his mother, and his mother’s sister, Mary the wife of Cleophas, and Mary Magdalene.

Her lawyer steps up to her defense:

“She wasn’t delusional, because she was following a religion,” Silverman said, describing the findings of the doctors’ psychiatric evaluation.

Now, that’s the kind of excuse that might have flown 2000 years ago. But we really owe it to ourselves to demand more of people today.

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